March 01, 2012
But where's the consideration, Chris?
I'm apparently a bit behind in my celebrity contracts gossip otherwise I would blogged about this earlier - apparently Chris Brown (yes, he of the restraining order fame) attended Rihanna's 24th birthday party. But before he stepped foot inside the party house (aka the Hearst Mansion), he tried to make the guests who were already inside sign a confidentiality agreement, presumably to keep mum about his attendance. Not everyone signed, and Brown's rep claims that only workers and those who snapped a picture of Brown were asked to sign the NDA. The burning question for contracts profs everywhere is, Where's the consideration? Presumably the guests, the workers and the picture-snappers were already at the party and had already snapped his picture. Presumably none of them knew that he would appear and probably couldn't care less that he was there - it wasn't like they were trying to induce him to attend the party and it's not like their invitation was conditional upon their signing the agreement. As for the picture snappers - hey, he never gave them permission and unless there's a privacy claim (which I doubt), what's to stop them? I doubt this type of agreement would be enforceable. Who says consideration is a non-issue in contract law?
But there's an even bigger, more burning question that contracts profs want to know WHY THE HELL WAS CHRIS BROWN AT RIHANNA'S PARTY IN THE FIRST PLACE GIVEN THEIR HISTORY OF VIOLENT ABUSE??!!
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Depends. Here in New York, there's a past consideration rule that would bail him out. Essentially, if the consideration was specified in a writing signed by the party to be charged and would have been proper consideration at the time of contracting, then the consideration is OK even if it is "past consideration." I'm not sure if California has the same rule, though.
Posted by: Matthew Rappaport | Mar 6, 2012 7:52:07 AM